Garcia’s sideman discography wasn’t anywhere near as big as, say, Duane Allman’s, but he was happy to chip in on many of his friends’ albums in his usual low key way. Most heads agree that some of the best of his sideman work was on David Crosby’s incredible first album, If I could Only Remember My Name. It’s definitely a “lost classic” that’s been yammered about by many folks, and if you don’t have it, then I direct you to the wonderful never get out of the boat, which is where I got my latest digital copy (direct link here; I’ve bought the lp multiple times, though, so does that get me off the hook?). This is perfect Sunday afternoon mellow madness that I totally adore. Gets a little spooky at the end, but that’s how life goes sometimes. The bonus “Kids and Dogs” will bring you back to earth, I promise.
What I will offer of my own, however, is this little episode of the Grateful Dead Hour radio broadcast (pre-satellite radio, before you could get this stuff 24 hours a day, people) dedicated to Garcia’s and Crosby’s musical bro-mance. There’s some pretty Garcia pedal steel cameos from different CSN-related albums, but the real prize is the legit outtakes from the Crosby album: a smokin’ version of “Cowboy Song” with MIA vocals and the considerable perk of hearing Neil Young spar with Jerry, a different version of the “Tamalpais High” jam for that second pass around, the lovely duet “Kids and Dogs,” plus the full version of “The Wall Song” from the first Crosby/Nash album. Sundry personnel details are in the accompanying text file. This stuff all circulates elsewhere these days, of course, but usually with unrelated other studio stuff that’s much less cool; this is straight from the source (host David Gans), anyhow, so might as well get it this way.
The one existing live recording of this “band” (Cros, Garcia, Phil Lesh, and Mickey Hart) is also totally worth it — it’s at that great never get out the boat spot again (in mp3), or here if you want flac. In my private mind garden, someone has gone ahead and pushed for one of those double cd deluxe edition reissues of this album with the outtakes on disc 1 and the live stuff on disc 2.